Sliding roof access hatches vs. hinged roof access hatches
Choose the right access hatches for your premises.
Access hatches are designed and installed to provide safe and convenient access to commercial roof areas. While they are often used for high-end construction projects, they can also provide the perfect solution for homeowners who want to have safe internal access to roof-mounted equipment.
That said, not all access hatches are created equal. There are two main types of access hatches:
Understanding the features and benefits of each is crucial to ensure full compliance with Australian Standards, OHS legislation and State regulations.
For more information about fall protection and height safety compliance, contact our expert team on 1300 850 121.
How to plan a hatch access system
Many factors must be considered when planning a roof hatch access system. Some of the most important considerations are:
- The height from floor to ceiling
- The height from ceiling to roof
- The pitch of the roof
- The design of the ceiling
- The reason for access
- The frequency of access
- The type of roof material and if a walkway is required
- Whether the system needs to have an insulation rating
- Whether the system needs to be fire-rated
Both hinged and sliding access hatches come in a range of sizes and can also be powder-coated in your choice of colour to suit your existing roof. But, sliding access hatches are ergonomically easier to open and close than hinged hatches – even those assisted with struts.
Which one should I choose?
Hinged access hatches typically have gas-operated struts which automatically open and close the hatch lid. The problem with this set-up is that the gas-operated struts can sometimes leak the gas, run empty, or not work. This can land you and your workers in serious strife, particularly when the lid locks from the inside.
What’s more, hinged access hatches only open up to 90 degrees, which means the wind can unexpectedly blow the hatch lid down. While they may be cheaper, in terms of reliable function and intuitive design, sliding access hatches win over hinged access hatches every time.
At least, that’s our opinion at Australian Height Safety Services.
Our team can supply and install both hinged and sliding access hatches – but we do prefer sliding access hatches. Here’s why.
The advantages of sliding access hatches
Sliding access hatches come with many advantages over hinged access hatches. While both can be made from high-quality aluminium, steel or stainless steel, and are designed to withstand the harsh Australian climate, here’s why a sliding hatch door will generally work better:
- The unrestricted opening makes transferring materials onto the roof safer and easier
- They slide on a strong steel rail system that is both weatherproof and secure
- Wheels on the runners can be adjusted to suit different roof pitches
- The sliding mechanism means the hatch lid won’t slam shut in the wind
- There’s no financial outlay for gas refills or maintenance
- They are easy to install and have a low visual profile
- They feature a clear entry point
- They feature high-strength welded framework construction
- They are suitable for all roof types
- They can be customised for special needs
When roof access hatches are installed, they require dedicated roof safety systems surrounding the access hatch – for instance, roof platforms walkways and roof guardrails. This is a good reason to take note of unsuitable access hatches and to avoid them. Any item or structure not capable of meeting OSHA structural load requirements should be shunned. Similarly, you should look for an installation technician who is both licensed and highly experienced in the industry.
Why choose AHSS?
Through the expert installation of high-quality Sayfa products, we can help you with access hatches that can be used for domestic, commercial and industrial construction. If you’re still not sure whether to go for a hinged access hatch or a sliding access hatch, we can inspect your premises and recommend the right solution for you, as well as check your height safety compliance.
Many different manufacturers make access hatches, but at AHSS, we exclusively use the Sayfa Skydore range for a compliant and low-maintenance roof access and fall prevention system. Sayfa’s access hatches are suitable for all property types and include both hinged and sliding types in a range of sizes. They have been specifically designed to meet and exceed Australian regulatory standards, and are engineered and manufactured right here on Aussie shores.
Our team of qualified technicians, including licensed plumbers, can come to your premises and chat with you about height safety and fall prevention. With more than 25 years of experience in height safety and fall prevention, it’s fair to say that we know how to bring your equipment and premises up to the required standard. We guarantee the compliance of all AHSS fall prevention systems with Australian height safety standards and regulations.